CIRCUMSTANCES surrounding the mysterious chartered plane that landed in Harare on Wednesday carrying an Italian man and proceeded to South Africa has been laid bare, allaying fears that he illegally invaded local airspace.
Investigations by Zim Morning Post established that it was a technical landing, where the plane solely needed refuelling and did not return to Harare as claimed by South African authorities.
“Well, the plane did not return to Harare
“It only landed for refuelling and proceeded to South Africa.
“The passenger and crew never went anywhere near the immigration check point,” revealed an inside source at the Aviation Ground Services who witnessed the scenario.
This publication understands that the crew and the Italian passenger were not subjected to mandatory testing yet our trusted sources revealed that they were in contact with some airport staffers.
On Thursday, South Africa Transport ministry official Ayanda Paine claimed that the plane left SA airspace for Harare on Wednesday evening, but local aviation staff said there was no such flight on the day in question. The plane is suspected to have flew to Mozambique.
South Africa Transport ministry on Thursday, raised alarm that the plane had landed OR Tambo without clearance and neglecting prescribed protocol in force during lockdown.
According the SA official( Paine), the plane landed at Oliver Tambo International airport on Wednesday afternoon with only one passenger-an Italian national with a South African passport.
“The flight was not cleared by the Department of Transport as is the protocol in force during the lockdown
“The passenger and crew were held at the airport as authorities sought guidance in how to handle them.
“Subsequently, a decision was made not to allow him in the country,” said Paine in a statement released Thursday.
“He initially refused prompting intervention by South Africa Police Services (SAPS) and eventually left SA airspace to Harare at 19.30hours,” Paine claimed.
SA transport minister Fikile Mbalule reportedly ordered a full throttle investigation and vowed that heads will roll to management at South Africa Navigation services and Airports Company South Africa should any be found wanting.
No official communication has been made by government as yet .
Italy is the second COVID-19 hardest hit country in the world after United States.
The global COVID-19 cases have passed the 1millon mark according to latest stastiscs availed by US university,John Hopkins on Thursday.
Spain recorded 932 deaths in a single day ,overtaking Italy.
Zimbabwe has recorded her ninth case this week, a 54 -year old Harare man who travelled from the United Kingdom last month.